Pick Only One: Version of "Summertime"

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Right now I'm listening to John Coltrane's, so I pick that one. For now.
for reference

gabbneb (gabbneb), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:00 (fourteen years ago) link

Please listen to them all before choosing.
Booker T. and the MG's

Taylor, Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:04 (fourteen years ago) link


mucho, Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:05 (fourteen years ago) link

From gab's link

"Sidney Bechet (23)"

daaaaaaaamn...closest runner up is Duke with 16.

Please listen to them all before choosing.

Except Sublime's, of course.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Galaxie 500

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:08 (fourteen years ago) link

The Zombies did one of Ready Steady Go! that was quite nice.

QuantumNoise (Justin Farrar), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Miles Davis.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:31 (fourteen years ago) link

With Fun Boy Three the runners up.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:31 (fourteen years ago) link

Mungo Jerry

punis (punis), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Mark two down of the Zombies version...

hector savage, Tuesday, 23 May 2006 22:51 (fourteen years ago) link

The Zombies of course

coco the kid, Tuesday, 23 May 2006 22:56 (fourteen years ago) link

Charlie Parker with Strings

tronidlfjsdlfkj, Tuesday, 23 May 2006 23:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Louis and Ella. Gotta be.

chap who would dare to be a nerd, not a geek (chap), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 23:02 (fourteen years ago) link

Sam Cooke with the Bumps Blackwell Orchestra

remy (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 23:05 (fourteen years ago) link

David Grisman and Tony Rice

baht habit, Tuesday, 23 May 2006 23:20 (fourteen years ago) link

The Coltrane version is great, but I'm going with the Charles Mingus Trio version.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 23:30 (fourteen years ago) link

D.J Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

(Different song, but fuck all y'all)

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Go sit with punis, thou apostate!

Keywords: revenge, knife, granddaughter, demonic-possession, rock-star, eel (Aus, Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Louis and Ella. Gotta be.

With Buddy Rich!

Honestly I really like this version that we did in college, the guitarist and bassist came up with this great groove that's stuck in my head ever since.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 01:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Definately Billy Stewart!
Second is Ella.

shieldforyoureyes (shieldforyoureyes), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 01:21 (fourteen years ago) link

Billy Stewart! (But really, my vote's as much going to Maurice White's drumming on the track and the horn chart.)

Joseph McCombs (Joseph McCombs), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 02:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Anna Domino, Arthur Baker remix.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 04:13 (fourteen years ago) link

Billie Holliday!

JTS (JTS), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 15:26 (fourteen years ago) link


mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 15:28 (fourteen years ago) link

billy stewart, easy

xhuxk, Wednesday, 24 May 2006 15:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Louis and Ella otm

Billy Dods (Billy Dods), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 15:40 (fourteen years ago) link

from memory, Nina Simone.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 16:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Lonnie Johnson

christoff (christoff), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 17:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Billy Stewart, by far. That was Maurice White? I never knew that, but in retrospect, it sounds obvious.

Rick Massimo (Rick Massimo), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 17:12 (fourteen years ago) link

Okay, since it got a million votes, I found a copy of Billy Stewart's version (somehow I'd never even heard of him before.)

Um, he's absolutely insane, isn't he?


As sampled by 2 Live Crew in the summertime classic "Pop That Pussy"

PappaWheelie B.C., Friday, 26 May 2006 03:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Will Smith

Scott CE (Scott CE), Friday, 26 May 2006 04:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Fantasia Burrino!

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 26 May 2006 13:37 (fourteen years ago) link

I just re-bought Will Friedwald's Stardust Melodies, which has a chapter on "Summertime," where he talks about a lot of different versions of the song. I need to re-read that chapter and check some more out. I won't claim them as my favorite or anything near it, but I like the two versions on Red Hot + Rhapsody, by Morcheeba/Hubert Laws and the Roots/Bobby Womack.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Friday, 26 May 2006 13:50 (fourteen years ago) link


NickB (NickB), Friday, 26 May 2006 13:52 (fourteen years ago) link


NickB (NickB), Friday, 26 May 2006 13:53 (fourteen years ago) link

Jesie Belvin. Cool late 50's smooth RnB version with stuttering guitar in the foreground. (Mickey Baker?)

bendy (bendy), Friday, 26 May 2006 14:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Incredible how Helen Jepson and Ella Fitzgerald are both yet to be namechecked even once.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 26 May 2006 17:32 (fourteen years ago) link

right, Ella was namechecked four time

gabbneb (gabbneb), Friday, 26 May 2006 17:36 (fourteen years ago) link

Hating rhythm means you can't count.
one year passes...


BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 05:35 (thirteen years ago) link

NOCERA (ESL for the win)!

Romeo Jones, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 06:16 (thirteen years ago) link

Friends of Dean Martinez

joanet vich, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 10:43 (thirteen years ago) link

-- mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, May 24, 2006 3:28 PM (1 year ago) Bookmark Link

Funnily enough, the site hasn't listed this one.

(I sent them it)

Mark G, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 10:52 (thirteen years ago) link

ha, their email addy bounced!

Mark G, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 11:17 (thirteen years ago) link

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, of course.

Naw, it's Ella and Louis.

kingkongvsgodzilla, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 11:25 (thirteen years ago) link

Cathy Berberian

blunt, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 12:15 (thirteen years ago) link

Lee Scratch Perry's dub versh is mad awsome.

t**t, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 15:08 (thirteen years ago) link

I like the Richard Davis/Elvin Jones version a lot.

Jordan, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 15:13 (thirteen years ago) link


I can't believe I'm agreeing with Geir.

Jazzbo, Tuesday, 28 August 2007 15:29 (thirteen years ago) link

Angelique Kidjo's version is nice.

shieldforyoureyes, Wednesday, 29 August 2007 12:43 (thirteen years ago) link


P'zone, Wednesday, 29 August 2007 18:08 (thirteen years ago) link

Upsetters seconded

sexyDancer, Wednesday, 29 August 2007 18:10 (thirteen years ago) link

Mahalia Jackson

The Brainwasher, Wednesday, 29 August 2007 18:40 (thirteen years ago) link

The Sundays

DavidM, Wednesday, 29 August 2007 18:42 (thirteen years ago) link

I am sorely tempted to recreate this as a poll.

Oilyrags, Wednesday, 29 August 2007 19:46 (thirteen years ago) link

If you create a poll here are the possible choices.

zaxxon25, Wednesday, 29 August 2007 20:14 (thirteen years ago) link

six years pass...

Does it ever seem weird that this song is so heavily covered? I mean it's a great song, but why this one? And also, it's a very bitter and ironic song and I feel like a lot of performances don't capture that.

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Monday, 20 January 2014 17:01 (seven years ago) link

Is it impossible to do the song justice without doing so?

tsrobodo, Monday, 20 January 2014 17:17 (seven years ago) link

Shades of "Mack the Knife"/"Moritat," maybe: a strong melody over simple but memorable chord changes (excuse the lack of precision and the dangerous proximity to Geir territory) can be compelling to a wide range of interpreters even if many of them don't actively engage with the darkness or shades of irony of the lyrics. "Summertime" and "Moritat" also have a tendency to stand in for the larger works of which they're a part (then again, several other songs from Porgy & Bess are also standards, so that might not be so relevant).

one way street, Monday, 20 January 2014 17:59 (seven years ago) link

I don't consider the chord changes to be simple - they are in the trickier end of the spectrum of jazz standards.

It can be performed either ironically or not. If I remember correctly it is performed more than once in the musical, including unironically/undark as a lullaby. I think it's okay to do it that way.

Anyway, I think it's covered a lot because yeah, strong melody, memorable chord changes and great lyrics. But also because it was written in the 30s and there wasn't a ton of songs like this around then so it really stood out, not just as a bluesy, spritual pop song but was also the outstanding example of that kind of thing for a long time.

everything, Monday, 20 January 2014 20:04 (seven years ago) link

they're simple inasmuch as you can pretty much do single-key "blues scale" improv over most of the progression.

I used to get annoyed when I was more of a jazz player because every vocalist either wanted to sing this or All of Me

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Monday, 20 January 2014 20:14 (seven years ago) link

The Zombies did one of Ready Steady Go! that was quite nice.

I've never heard this but they did a studio version also, which is my pick.

Doctor Flange, Tuesday, 21 January 2014 19:23 (seven years ago) link

I'd go for Louis and Ella, easily, but no love for the Cal Tjader?!

Le passé, non seulement n'est pas fugace, il reste sur place (Michael White), Tuesday, 21 January 2014 21:14 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...


includes link to a live version by Billy Stewart that's on Youtube

“Billy did jazz, Billy did blues, he did lots of things that fit his style of music,” Ruffin says. “The thing that excited him most was when he did George Gershwin.”

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 28 June 2016 16:34 (four years ago) link

Billy Stewart has Pete Cosey on a lot of his sides too. Love that stuff.
Also several live versions by Big Brother & Holding co thanks to that destructive James Gurley guitar.
& that Zombies version is one I always loved.
Would have been good by the Doors too.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 28 June 2016 17:55 (four years ago) link

love this george shearing version


brimstead, Tuesday, 28 June 2016 19:08 (four years ago) link


hypnic jerk (rushomancy), Tuesday, 28 June 2016 19:16 (four years ago) link

L. Ron Hubbardtime

tylerw, Tuesday, 28 June 2016 19:25 (four years ago) link

Lots of choice cuts listed already, Doc & Merle Watson's version might also be added:


bodacious ignoramus, Tuesday, 28 June 2016 22:37 (four years ago) link


Mark G, Monday, 11 July 2016 11:05 (four years ago) link

four years pass...


Billy Stewart doc on PBS website

curmudgeon, Friday, 16 April 2021 04:15 (three weeks ago) link


✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 16 April 2021 05:13 (three weeks ago) link

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